SolarCycle is a solar panel recycler that extracts and purposes the valuable materials in the panels.
As more people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact, they turn to renewable energy sources for their homes. Studies have shown that the global electricity demand during the first half of 2022 was met by renewable energy, with solar power and wind energy meeting these demands. This helped prevent a 4% increase in fossil fuel generation.
Solar energy uses the sun’s light to generate power. The light is captured and stored by solar panels or photovoltaic cells. On a large scale, solar panels can generate power for thousands of people at once. Adding solar panels to your home’s roof can help power and heat your home even when the sun isn’t shining. Generating energy can lower your electricity bill and helps us move towards an energy-independent society. Solar panels are also relatively low maintenance as they only require annual cleaning and must be replaced every ten years.
The irony is that, in most cases, the worn-out solar panels are typically thrown away. Many recycling industries find it too expensive to recover the materials, and there are no mandates that prohibit these panels from being thrown into the landfill. SolarCycle, a California solar panel recycler, may have found the economical solution for recycling and repurposing solar panels.
SolarCycle is one of only five companies in the US listed by the Solar Energy Industries Association as capable of providing recycling services. SolarCycle extracts 95% of the valuable materials in solar panels, like silver, silicon, copper, aluminium and glass. The materials are returned to the domestic solar supply chain, which helps create a circular solar economy. The company estimates that recycling each panel avoids the emissions of 97 pounds of carbon dioxide. That rises to more than 1.5 tons of CO2 if a panel is reused. Their recycling platform can help offset the impact of nearly 80 million metric tons of solar panels worldwide.
Recycling solar panels will continue to grow as the demand for solar panels grows. The raw materials recovered from solar panels globally could be worth $450 million by 2030. Almost all the materials that make up a solar panel could be recovered, including glass and aluminium. Although the materials inside the panels, such as lead, cadmium, and selenium, cannot be recycled, keeping them out of the landfill is a more sustainable option as these materials can leach into groundwater as they break down in the landfill.
With more people choosing solar panels as an environmental alternative to fossil fuel energy, they need equal environmental options to dispose of their worn-out panels. SolarCycle provides customers with a circular economy option to support renewable energy while having a minimal impact on the planet.